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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Innaugural run in the TC - 7 days in the okanagan/shushwap

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AndyLyyc

Calgary

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Joined: 06/15/2008

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Posted: 08/08/08 01:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey folks,

Figured I'd share our first trip out with the new to us TC (78 vanguard 9'6") - new to us for less than a week and the trucks pretty new to us too (82 GMC C2500 6.2D). Plan was to leave calgary attend a wedding friday just outside kelowna, spend some time with friends there; then on to preferably herald PP for the rest of the vacation. Now unfortunately due to late planning of this trip (less than a month) couldn't get reservations ANYWHERE. So we brought along our copy of "camp free in BC" as a "just in case". DW unfortunately had to be back to work friday (today).

[image]
The Girls loading us up to leave

Thursday - plan was to leave around noon; but we know how women like to do that last minute cleaning + there's never enough stuff in there [emoticon] And this addition of a camper - well that just meant we needed to bring more stuff! Got the new batteries into the TC and the truck, as well as a new VRV so the transmission would shift proper, needed to hit the bank and grab some new camping chairs and we were on our way... Best plans right? Stopped at the bank - came out and the truck wouldn't start. Tried boosting, jumping from the camper batteries... So we ended up putting in a new starter - luckily the auto parts source in the same parking lot was able to get us a starter in about an hour - and I had a few tools on the TC. Easiest starter ever on these trucks! Of course while I was doing that DW was realizing we needed this that and the other... Left town at 11pm [emoticon]

Most of you i'm thinking would be cursing - but this was a blessing in my eyes; Rogers Pass is best done in the wee hours when it's not so busy... Climbing out of golden about 30k from the peak of the rogers - went to switch to the passenger side gas tank as we were down to almost E - and it wouldn't switch... Took about 5 minutes of fiddling, but finally got it over to the full tank. Must have been a sticky solenoid - Whew!

Rolled into Revelstoke around 5am; passed the suspension bridge; camped there at the roadside turnout for the night. Weather kinda sucked - bit of rain... Climbed into bed and got that lovely Drip...Drip...Drip... Tossed a tarp over the front of the TC for the night and crashed hard.

[image]
Waking up in Revelstoke

Friday Kicked off with our daughter + one of girls from the 5'er beside us playing in puddles... Me desperate for kawphy! Stopped at timmies - then continued on to sicamous; then down to winfield (coincidentally where my TC was originally mfg'ed). Wedding was great, tried out urban camping - we set up for the night at the skate park basically a block from the wedding reception. Good place to sleep off a hangover [emoticon]

[image]
Waking up in Winfield

Popped up to Dee Lake (d lake?) Campground to see if there were spots available, no such luck the trip down got a bit interesting after the brakes started smoking on those nasty fire roads...
[image]
view waiting for brakes to cool off

Saturday was spent socializing with the bride/groom; then on to some other friends - had a blast at gyro beach. Spent the night in their driveway; more sociables in the morning... Finally got out around noon to start our real vacation.
[image]
(yes that's some serious self depricating humor[emoticon])

Monday - got out to Herald PP (50d 47' 21.0" -119d 12'21.0")in the afternoon - sure enough, no sites available. Not unexpected - but we were hoping... Nice place to camp! Too bad you apparently have to book it the day it comes available (april?) to get in...

So out came the book - Settled on Sandy Beach/Sandy Point/Brennan Creek - a small forest service campground on adams lake. Stopped at Adams lake PP on the way - DW didn't like it, thought it was creepy (?!). About an hour up the road we found Sandy Beach (51d 10'09.6" -119d 36' 14.1")
[image]
Sandy Beach Campground

[image]
[image]
[image]
Adams lake from sandy beach

Roughly 10-12 campsites, #1 is the best - private, lots of room; Access is from day use area not the actual campground. We chose #4 as it was pretty secluded by itself.

[image]
[image]

Lots of fun was had Monday/Tuesday here, ended up doing a run into adams lake village to get some ice and water (had a few messy spills in the camper; that drained the water tank. Love those kids & dogs). That was a mistake in hindsight - on the way out at some point I found out the knife valve for the black tank was resting on the bumper - broke something on the FSR - Nastiness all over the rear bumper... Paid way too much for water/ice... On my return to camp, I approached slightly differently than the first time - put the rear drivers jack into a tree stump I'd previously had no problems with tore that. The vent for the bathroom fell victim to a tree branch at this same time...

[emoticon] Ah well - to be expected at these sites right?

Cleaned up as best we could... Settled in for a relaxing evening.

Wednesday - tried out the 110v inverter...******- wouldn't run the coffee grinder; tried the other 2 inverters we happened to have along - same story; No Kawphy! ARGH! At some point during this - apparently we burned out the inverter because all the 110v plugs went dead.

Spent more time at the beach, then we headed out to find a sani dump & carwash. Dumped, Rinsed, Dumped again, went to the carwash gave it all a real good clean. Decided against going back to adams lake - went to the water slide in Salmon Arm instead; Checked with herald PP again - no vacancies... So we stopped at PJ's Family Rest. for dinner and to decide what to do next. AWESOME FOOD! Ignore the dive looking signage - this place is the best "american food" we've found + its a smorgasbord!!! 12$ DW was trying to bribe the cooks for the recipe to the cream of mushroom - I was too busy stuffing my face on everything else [emoticon]

We decided on to radium we'd go - the girls were wanting a day at the hotsprings. Rolled into radium around 1am - found lots of closed gates / no vacancies, ended up pulling into Redstreak (run by the national park service) around 1am - no attendants so we just found an open spot; and setup.

This caused us a lot of grief in the morning - as apparently this doesn't happen! [emoticon] We were accused of trying to steal a spot for the night; oi vey - wasn't too impressed with the national parks people at this campground. I can't count the number of times we've pulled in to private/public campgrounds during the wee hours - and gone to settle up in the morning. But of course apparently the gate is manned 24/7 - we must have snuck in ?!?!
[image]
Waking up in Redstreak
Decided to have breaky in town - apparently our favorite place burned down a few years ago... So we hit the "melting pot" - food was ok; about on par with dennys really - but the bill -******50$ for eggs benny, an omlete, and a kids meal c/w coffee for us & milk for the little one... Should have been fantabulous for that price!

We went to invermere for a little shopping; spent more than a few hours doing the tourist thing... Then on to radium hot springs - good soak in the pools! But watchout - that thing that looks like a hot tub - isn't... Pure fresh mountain glacier runoff... Zoiks!

Traveled on down 93 to castle junction - visited some friends & had dinner at timberwolf (Pretty darn good - located upstairs in the lake louise inn); Then headed on back to calgary. Topped up on diesel in Lk Louise - Suggestion... Don't do that - most expensive fill of the trip 1.589/L.

Hope y'all enjoyed! We sure did, now I'm off to find some caulking a new vent and see if we can't go for a weekender to relax from our little vacation [emoticon]

Andy

Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 08/08/08 03:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have had all the experiences you described. A different time, but the same experiences. I have rebuilt a carburetors beside the highway in a snow storm, had no battery, so we used a gas lantern, and the list goes on.

If you can hold the temper, those will be the most remembered trips you will ever make. It only gets better.

Sounds like you did hold the temper, and had a very enjoyable trip. Sure the campground was an obstacle, but you overcame it. Could you imagine with a TT, 5er or big motor home.

Thanks for posting your experience.


Wayne

silversand

Montreal

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Joined: 09/12/2004

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Posted: 08/08/08 04:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your candid trip report is now in Trip Reports [emoticon]

Nice writeup and illustrations! Real life experiences [emoticon]

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

BobTowne

Fairfield, CA, USA

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Posted: 08/08/08 06:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, what a great area in which to shake it down! Hope you have many years of happy camping in that rig. Cosmetically it looks great for a '78, eh? Thanks for sharing.


GreatWhite
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AndyLyyc

Calgary

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Posted: 08/09/08 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah, nothing that happened was anything more than a blip in the road... Would have been more worried if we'd had less problems honestly - after all new to us truck & tc - both are in the 30yr old range... Though I really was surprised by the starter [emoticon] Still not as bad as rebuilding a small block while lying in a mudbog [emoticon]

TC really does look good for being 30 years old - it was overall in better condition than 90% of the campers we looked at. Yes it's got some issues with the electrical; the rear left corners plywood delaminated - and I've got some work to do on the roof (was up caulking yesterday afternoon/evening) and a leak at the sink... However it's still heads n tails above all the 80s/90s TCs we looked at - which all seemed structurally questionable, had non functional appliances, and numerous leaks...

BirdSongPlace

San Diego County, CA

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Posted: 08/09/08 09:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You seemed to handle all the problems with patience and in good spirits..... Good for you! I hope your wife appreciates a guy who can diaginose and then fix a problem himself and can stay in a good mood while dealing with it.


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Karic

Victoria BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/09/08 11:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the Wonderful World of RV's. We've all had similar experiences and it DOES get better.

My only suggestion is to be sure you have some mechanical means of securing your jacks in the UP position. The worst thing I saw was a TC with pump jacks pull into our campground after the right rear jack (the one you can't see) had "self-extended" and caught a pothole in the road. The entire RR corner from the entry door to the dinette window was gone!

Here's to many happy years on the road.[emoticon]


'03 F350 SD XLT Supercab Dually, V10, Auto, 3.73
'02 Adventurer 90RDS
'06 Sea Ray 215 Weekender


AndyLyyc

Calgary

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Posted: 08/09/08 01:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe it's just the brand of jack, but the legs have a nice little carabiner setup so you latch them in when stowed... Thinking about what could happen - maybe I'll bump the repair/replacement of those up the list [emoticon]

Karic

Victoria BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/09/08 01:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The carbiners are a really good option. This poor guy had kind of an "L" shaped piece with a wingnut to hold the foot of the jack up, but the wingnut had disappeared, dropping the "L" piece........not good. After I saw that, I replaced the wingnuts on my old unit with "nylocks".........more hassle, but peace of mind.

One suggestion is to check your jacks, all doors and tiedowns whenever you stop for fuel or a coffee. Our rear entry door came open once and I had to walk over half a mile down an 8% grade to retrieve an inflated water tow-tube that wouldn't stop rolling away.....still not sure how it got past the boat.........LOL

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